Makes about 18.
Note: Texture and taste set the corn dodger apart from ordinary cornbread. When made with stone-ground cornmeal, true dodgers have a crisp crust with a tender interior. Choose stone-ground cornmeal, which uses a traditional process that produces a coarser meal with the kernel’s hull and germ mostly intact. It has more of a “corn” ﬂavor than regular mass-produced cornmeal. Stone-ground cornmeal is more perishable and should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Allow ample time for the cornmeal-hot water mixture to cool and swell, and then for the dodgers to cook through in the skillet. From “Abraham Lincoln in the Kitchen,” by Rae Katherine Eighmey.
• 2 c. coarse cornmeal, preferably stone-ground (and maybe more)
• 1⁄2 tsp. salt
• 1 tbsp. melted butter or bacon drippings, plus more for cooking
• 1 1⁄2 c. boiling water
• 1⁄3 c. regular cornmeal, optional
Mix the coarse cornmeal and salt in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the butter or drippings. Pour the boiling water over the fat and stir carefully and thoroughly. Set aside to cool, 20 to 30 minutes. This should make a loose dough that you can form into dodgers shaped like ears of corn. Cornmeals vary, so you may need to add a bit more water or, if the mixture is too wet, add up to 1⁄4 cup regular cornmeal. In making these additions, begin by adding less than you think necessary.
To cook on the stovetop: Form the dodgers by placing about 2 tablespoons of dough in the palm of one hand and gently press the dough into an oval about 2 inches long and 1 inch wide. Put an 8- to 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, melt about 1 tablespoon butter or drippings in the pan.
Carefully place 6 of the formed dodgers in the hot skillet; don’t crowd them. Lower the heat and cook until the bottoms are browned and the tops are ﬁrm and dry, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Turn over carefully and ﬁnish cooking until browned on both sides, another 5 to 7 minutes. (Note: It could take longer — up to 12 minutes on a side for the dodgers to be cooked correctly; be patient.) Repeat these steps with the remaining dodgers.
To bake: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease a baking sheet well. Form the dodgers as described above. Bake until ﬁrm throughout, 15 to 20 minutes.
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories 72 Fat 3 g Sodium 94 mg
Carbohydrates 10 g Saturated fat 2 g Calcium 2 mg
Protein 1 g Cholesterol 7 mg Dietary fiber 1 g